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Economic Development and Developers in the News # 75

Econ dev news from 173 economic development executives and organizations in 23 states, Mexico, and Canada.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
8 min read
Economic Development and Developers in the News # 75
Photo by Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Welcome to the 75th weekly edition of Economic Development and Developers in the News.  Today's issue contains news from 173 economic development executives and organizations in 23 states, Mexico, and Canada.

If this is your first time reading: Welcome!

The Econ Dev Show is a podcast, weekday email newsletter, and blog of actionable strategies, fresh news, insights, and ideas from the economic development community and your host, Dane Carlson.


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Alabama

The city of Opelika received the Community and Economic Development Award from the Southern Economic Development Council. Opelika won the award for communities of 15,001-40,000 residents for its efforts in giving career opportunities to soldiers transitioning from active duty to civilian life. Lori Huguley, director of economic development for Opelika, and John Sweatman, economic development project manager for Opelika, accepted the award on the city’s behalf.

Arkansas

Hempstead County Economic Development held an Industry Meeting and Luncheon earlier this month.  President Steve Harris gave a report on the county’s economic progress and the organization’s work over the past year.

Wendy Quarles Bridges is the new Interim Economic Development Director at City of Goodyear.

California

The finishing touches on a textbook example of how redevelopment agencies  were able to change the economic futures of California communities are in the process of being made: 25 years after Spreckels Sugar plant closure in Manteca, economic transformation nears completion.

The Hollister City Council voted unanimously to approve a one-year memorandum of understanding with the Economic Development Corporation of San Benito County for $100,000. The funding would match the amount pledged by the San Benito County Supervisors. (Renee Wells, EDC executive director)

Canada

Cape Breton Regional Municipality is chartering a new path for economic growth. On Tuesday, CBRM mayor and council accepted the results of an independent report that looks to expand economic development in the region over the next five years. (Aileen Murray, Dillon Consulting consultant)

Colorado

SeonAh Kendall, who had served as Fort Collins’ senior manager for economic health for more than a decade, has been promoted to economic health director, succeeding Joshua Birks, who held that post for 10 years before being promoted to deputy director of sustainability services this month.

The city of Colorado Springs will provide up to $5,000 per new worker that new or expanding companies in town employ. The city’s $3 million Deal Closing Fund will be managed by the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation. (Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer, president and CEO)

Connecticut

A resident’s challenge to a state regulation that called for the immediate resignation of six members of the Economic Development Commission and appointment of replacements has been rejected, citing no term limits are established for those who are reappointed.

Florida

Voters in Fort Pierce and St. Lucie County overwhelming approved a renewal Tuesday of tax-abatement programs for another 10 years.

Illinois

Two new members were welcomed this month to the Rockford Area Economic Development Council board of directors. Wendy Kasche, Vice President of Finance at Hard Rock Casino Rockford and Dan Giovannetti, President & CEO at Bergstrom Corporation were appointed Thursday, August 11 at the board of directors meeting. (Therese Thill, President of RAEDC)

The LaSalle City Council has appointed Curt Bedei to be the next Economic Development Director.

Indiana

On Monday August 22, at the regularly scheduled County Council Meeting, it was announced that the Council is seeking a resident of LaPorte County to serve on the LaPorte County Economic Development Commission.

City of Lafayette officials are looking for a developer to give two long-vacant lots a facelift. Decades ago, the lots on either side of South Fourth Street near Kossuth Street were home to railroad tracks. That was a time when Lafayette's downtown was crisscrossed by a major rail corridor. The tracks have since been relocated and the lots have sat empty for years.  Now, the city wants to change that. (Economic Development Director, Dennis Carson)

They may be moving on to the next chapter, but the imprint two Clarksville development leaders have left on the town will last for a lifetime. Clarksville Planning Director Jacob Arbital and Redevelopment Director Nic Langford submitted their resignations to the town recently. The pair have been instrumental in creating positive change within the town.

Kansas

Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland has announced a new grant opportunity that will help support economic development and revitalization efforts in smaller communities across Kansas through investments in quality-of-life initiatives. The brand-new Strategic Economic Expansion and Development program will make grants between $5,000 and $50,000 available to communities in 78 designated counties with a population of 5,000 or less. Grants will be available in the following categories: childcare, community vibrancy, food retail, and libraries.

Louisiana

Ruston Economic Development Director Phillip Smart is leaving the city after nine months on the job.

Bossier Chamber representatives recently took part in Community Development Institute – Central  at the University of Central Arkansas. (Jessica Hemingway, Vice President, Bossier Chamber of Commerce; Lisa Johnson, President & CEO)

Maine

Maine Communities will receive $5.8 Million in Economic Development and Infrastructure Grants. (Rich Grogan, Executive Director, Northern Border Regional Commission)

Maryland

Ted Carter, Baltimore’s deputy mayor for community and economic development, has been temporarily suspended from work due to a complaint lodged against him, according to sources not authorized to discuss a personnel matter.

Julie Abadie Oberg is the new Director of Economic Development at Calvert County.

Massachusetts

Gordon Carr, current deputy director of Real Estate Strategy and Policy at the Massachusetts Port Authority, has been selected as the next executive director of the New Bedford Port Authority. (Derek Santos, Executive Director, New Bedford Economic Development Council; George Krikorian, Executive Director, New Bedford Harbor Development Commission; Lisa S. Wieland, CEO, Massachusetts Port Authority)

Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council examined why the formerly incarcerated remain out of the workforce. Nearly half the 176 people responding to a recent Springfield Works survey of people who either were incarcerated or had a family member serve time are not working for pay a year after their or their family member’s release. (Anne Kandilis, Springfield WORKS/Working Cities Challenge Initiative Director at the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts)

Mexico

Nuevo Laredo and Tamaulipas now have their first-ever business cluster in efforts to spearhead economic development in the city, the region and the states of Tamaulipas and Texas. (Director General Jorge Alberto Viñals)

Minnesota

Samantha DiMaggio is the new Economic Development Manager at the City of Chanhassen.

Mississippi

Gov. Tate Reeves touted Northeast Mississippi's economic development on Wednesday following a meeting with Lee County and Tupelo officials. (David Rumbarger, President/CEO, Community Development Foundation Tupelo)

New Mexico

Quay County Commissioners unanimously approved an economic development plan that would make state funding available for some businesses in unincorporated parts of the county. (Patrick Vanderpool, Executive Director, Greater Tucumcari EDC)

North Dakota

Local childcare providers in Williston are beginning to take advantage of Economic Development’s STAR Fund to expand their services. (Shawn Wenko, Executive Director, Williston Economic Development)

Ohio

Stephanie Bosco is Lancaster's new economic development director and executive director of the Lancaster Port Authority. She has been with the city since January and replaced the retired Mike Pettit when he retired in June as economic development director.

Oklahoma

Cache opened a new Pickleball court. An anonymous donation got the project started. Then Eddie Dabney Junior from the Cache Economic Development Authority led the charge.

South Carolina

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg will lead a local business group to Barbados in October for talks on trade, cultural exchanges and climate change. (Rhoda Green, President & CEO, Carolinas Legacy Foundation)

South Dakota

Kallie Carey was named the new director for Wall Economic Development.

Texas

The Nolanville Economic Development Corporation is slated to discuss the Avenue G connectivity project and progress updates on the ongoing search for an economic development director.

Gladewater Economic Development Corporation is holding its first job expo. (Michelle Palmer, Executive Director, GEDCO; Marsha Valdetero, Director, Gladewater Chamber of Commerce; Doug Shryock, Executive Director, Work Force East Texas)

Williamson County Commissioners Court approved an allocation of $500,000 in the fiscal year 2022-23 budget for the Williamson County Economic Development Partnership between the county and its cities to improve the economic well-being of the region. (Laura Huffman, President & CEO, Opportunity Austin; Ben White, Director of Economic Development, City of Cedar Park; Kim Mcauliffe, Interim Economic Development Director, Georgetown; Mary Poche, Executive Director, Jarrell Economic Development Corporation; Ashley Lunde, Economic Development Managing Partner, City of Leander; Cameron Goodman, Director of Economic Development, City of Leander; Jordan Robinson, President & CEO, Round Rock Chamber; Mark Thomas, President & CEO, Taylor EDC; Matt Powell, Executive Director, Liberty Hill EDC)

Galveston Economic Development Partnership named Keith Gray as interim director.

Board members of the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation recommended a project expenditure of up to $123,200 to Chandler, Arizona-based Thinksmart Planning, Inc. to craft a master plan for future development of the Comal County Fairgrounds. (Jeff Jewell, Director of Economic and Community Development, City of New Braunfels; Lucinda Vela, Project Manager, Spark Small Business Center)

The Texas Comptroller recently launched an online database for local governments to report the economic development agreements they sign with businesses. The searchable database allows the public to search for agreements by local government, business entity and agreement type. The database, designed to improve transparency, will be the state's central repository for these local agreements, and local entities will provide a direct link on their website to the location of their agreement on the Comptroller’s website.

United States

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the 12 members of the newly established Equity Commission Subcommittee on Rural Community Economic Development. (Cheryal Hills, Executive Director, Region Five Development Commission; Calvin Allen, Director, Rural Forward NC; Lakota Vogel, Executive Director, Four Bands Community Fund Inc.; Valerie Beel, Nebraska; Doug O'Brien, President and CEO, National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA; Terry Rambler, Chairman, San Carlos Apache Tribe; Nils Christoffersen, Executive Director, Wallowa Resources, Thrive Rural; Shonterria Charleston, Director of Training and Technical Assistance, Housing Assistance Council)

The Southern Economic Development Council announced the election of new Directors and Officers at the 2022 SEDC Annual Conference in San Antonio. (Bethany Shockney, President & CEO, Limestone County Economic Development Association, Inc.; Mike Swinson, Director of Economic Development, Spire; Gary Troutman; Missy Kendrick, President & CEO, Rome Floyd Development Authority; Kelly Smallridge, President & CEO, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County; Tiffany Garling, Executive Director, Jackson County Economic Development Committee; Zach McHatton, Community Development Director, Newton, KS; James Oltman, President, ElevateEdgerton; Rene DeBerdt, Project Manager, Denham-Blythe Company, Inc.; Jim DeCesare, Sr. Partner, The DeCesare Group; Larkin Simpson, Executive Vice President, Louisiana Central; Meryl Fisackerly, COO, Golden Triangle Development LINK; Sara Doss, Project Manager, Mississippi Development Authority; Pete Fullerton, Executive Director, Platte County Economic Development; Andy Coe, Principal, Convergent Nonprofit Solutions; Richard Blackwell, Vice President of Development; Agracel, Inc.; Kellen Riley, Director of Business Development, CSXUniversity; Andrea Anderson, Vice President of Economic Development, Ardmore Development Authority; Lindsay Frilling, CEO, Obion County Joint EDC; Adam Gawarecki, Executive Director, San Patricio County Economic Development Corporation; Tom Long, Managing Director, greater:SATX; Courtland Robinson, Managing Director, Virginia Economic Development Partnership; Joe Hines, Principal and Director of Economic Development, Timmons Group; Mark Whitley, Executive Director, Jackson/Roane EDA; Frank McCrady, President & CEO,East Montgomery County Improvement District; Cody Slater, CEO, Wynne Economic Development Corporation; Brandt Herndon, CEO, Effingham County IDA; Chris Masingill, CEO, St. Tammany Corporation; Jamie McMahan, Planning & Economic Development Director, Burnsville, NC; Jeannie Bowden, Projects & Operations Manager, Lawton-Fort Sill EDC; Charles Wood, Vice President of Economic and Talent Development, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce; David Lieving, President & CEO, Huntington Area Development Council)

Virginia

The Patrick County Economic Development Authority received $600,000 for the establishment of two mobile health care units. (Sean Adkins, Director of Economic Development, Patrick County)

A new economic development plan in Norton, Va. is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs to the area. The new business facility is part of the Department of Commerce's $300 million Coal Communities Commitment. (Duane Miller, Executive Director, LENOWISCO Planning District Commission)

The Fairfax County EDA shared recent developments. (Victor Hoskins, President & CEO, Fairfax County EDA; Angela Franco, President & CEO, DC Chamber of Commerce; Sheila Dixon, Executive Director, Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce; Rabih Torbay, President & CEO, Project Hope; Gerald Gordon, Former President & CEO, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority)


Thanks for reading. Be sure to send errors, corrections, and news updates to [email protected]

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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Director of Economic Development for Galveston County, Texas.


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